It started with a playgroup song. Jackson was about 8 months old and I was the lone oblivious mother singing “I don’t know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she’ll die. ” I looked at the other moms who seemed to be looking at me as if I’d sprouted another nostril. I listened intently to the next chorus and realized that the Little Old Lady only cried in this new babe-ified version.
Then yesterday when picking Jackson up after school he started telling me about one of the games he’d played at the school’s Olympic celebration. He was talking so quickly I missed the name of the game. When he repeated the word tug I said ‘Oh! Tug of War’ to which he replied ‘No, Tug of Peace.”
Oh, that’s how we’ll achieve world peace…
Jack has never wept over that Little Old Lady and her tormented tummy. And he’s a sensitive kid who has already had to deal with a lot of death in his short life. We deal. We talk. We cry. And we’re okay. The tale of the silly little fly and all the animals that go down after it has never caused tears or raised questions about death.
As a kid, Tug of War never gave me pause to think of strife in the world nor did it make me violent or warmongerish. I would love war to end. Right now. I would love the threat of war to cease. Forever. If only it was as easy as just eradicating the word from a 5 year olds vocabulary.
If I can’t call it Tug of War anymore, I’ll just shorten it to Tug. I’m through sugar-coating. Of course I’m also the mom who changes the words of ‘On top of Spaghetti’ to ‘On top of the Table’ and sing about Lily being told to get down but falling off and out the door.
Yeah, maybe forget everything I just said.